Friday, November 28, 2014

It Isn't Easy Being White

Ferguson, MO. Today Konajournal is on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. It has been mostly peaceful so far, but a lot of people are still out here making their feelings known, carrying signs, holding their hands in the air and spontaneously singing protests songs from time to time. Let's talk to someone if we can. Here's one.

"Hello, sir. I'm with Konajournal. I've just arrived here in Missouri from the Aloha State, Hawaii. May I ask you a few questions?"

"It's Missour-uh. So you come from Hawaiiuh? That's a far piece."

"It's Hawaii, or Ha-VAI-ii, and yes it is. I noticed your sign: DARREN WILSON FOR PRESIDENT. Obviously you do not share the view of most of the protesters that he should be held accountable for Michael Brown's death."

"They oughta give that boy a medal the size of a dinner plate! No tellin' what that colored boy was gonna do next. Ya know he was seven foot tall and 400 pounds. Eyes like a damn cat. I seen him before. He couldn't even feel them bullets! Scary sumbitch."

"He was a large kid, yes. But Officer Wilson is retiring. He's received over a million dollars in donations."

"Damn right. We minorities stick together."


"Hell yes. We white folks is the minority right here. We gotta look after one another."

"Well the police and the town government and the courts seem to be predominantly white."

"Well sure. That's how we look after one another. See, us white folks is getting squeezed out. First they git Black History Month. Then Martin Luther King Day. Then they git that sumbitch, Obama, all the way from Africa to be the damn President. Now they git Black Friday. What do we git?"


"They even git Black Entertainment Television! Why don't we git White Entertainment Television?"

"Because most television IS white entertainment?"

"Naw, that ain't it. I'll tell you what, too. You seen any white folks riotin' after O. J. got let off? Nope!"

"Well, that's not really the same thing. But it is true that the cops planted evidence and lied in that case, too."

"Had to! Now looky here, how come there's so many colored folks in prison? I'll tell ya. Crime comes natural to 'em. Can't help it. Just the way they are."

"So you think that if Michael Brown had been white Officer Wilson would have shot him?"

"Hell no! He woulda had a talk with that boy's daddy. Yes sir. You seen Michael Brown's daddy? He's 8 feet tall, close ta 500 pounds! Eyes like a damn bat!"

"Well, thank you, sir. You've made my trip to Missouri a success."

"It's Missour-UH. You headin' back to Hawaaiuh?"

"It's Hawai-EE And I'll pronounce it Missour-UH when you start spelling it that way."

"We do."

©2014 Kona Lowell

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Republicans Working for YOU, the Little Guy

Washington, DC. With the people having spoken — well, one third of those registered to vote any way — the Republicans now have the wind at their backs and the self confidence that comes from knowing that they are doing the will of the American people. And now that they are set to control both houses of Congress, they can get down to making life better for all of us. I know this is the plan, because they said so. I'm still a bit unclear on why when they win, it's the will of the American people and when we win it's in spite of the will of the American people, but never mind.

So to help you, the little guy, the Republicans are going to create gazillions of jobs and make the economy grow like a gigantic, indestructible dandelion. I know, because they said so. But how to do this?

Well, first you repeal Obamacare. I know, I know, this isn't exactly what everyone had in mind, especially the ten million Americans who now have health coverage and would have to go back to frequenting the ER and, well, dying, but you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Besides, Obamacare is a "job killer." I know, because they said so. So if all these people lose their health coverage, we will be literally drowning in unfilled, good paying jobs quicker than you can say "pre-existing condition." And, by the way, omelets are very tasty.

Next, build the Keystone XL pipeline. And gut the EPA, because you can't give with one hand and take away with the other. The benefits of this bold move will be twofold: first, tens of hundreds of temporary jobs will be created building the pipeline, but many more are sure to become available in future ecological disasters. And with the job-killing EPA neutered, titans of industry will be free to recreate the glory days of the industrial revolution. Everybody had a job back then, even children. And who knows? Before long, all of us may be driving hybrid cars! Half gas, half coal. Any way, climate change is a hoax. I know, because they said so. Clean air and water are so 1970.

Of course the key to real, lasting prosperity is privatization. I know, because they said so. And where better to start than that white elephant the founding fathers burdened us with, that costly anachronism known as the United States Post Office. I mean, letters? Who writes letters? Okay, so the USPS doesn't get any tax money to operate and thousands of employees would lose their jobs, but it's the principle of the thing. After that we can privatize the police. And the Fire Department. That means none of your tax dollars being wasted doing what the free market can cheerfully do. It'll be just like paying for cable, with similar service.

Finally, the economy will get its biggest jump start by impeaching the Job-Killer in Chief, President Obama, for the high crime of issuing an executive order to deal with the immigration crisis while being tauntingly Black. Then they'll shut down the government. How this will actually improve the economy or create jobs is a bit unclear, but I know it will because they said so. I think it's like severely wounding a fruit tree to make it produce. Or something.

The American people have spoken, and now it's up to the Republican Party to reward us for our trust. I know they won't let us down, because they said so. Now just relax, this won't hurt a bit.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Friday, November 7, 2014

WTF Happened? The 2014 Post-Mortem

Washington, DC. Fingers are already being pointed and blame assigned as Democrats attempt to determine exactly why they had their butts handed to them like perfectly broiled filet mignons on 500 degree sizzling plates. What was supposed to be just a bad election night proved to be an embarrassing rout and portends nothing but more obstruction, inevitable caving, endless investigations and possible impeachment for the final two years of President Obama's term. Why did this happen?

1. Messaging. Yes, it's true that the Democrats are god-awful at trumpeting their accomplishments and that the Republicans are wizards at lying through their teeth about those accomplishments. Unemployment is down to 5.8 %, 10 million jobs have been created, the deficit has been cut in half, the stock market is at record levels, more than 10 million Americans have health insurance that never had it before and the cost of medical care has risen at the lowest rate in 50 years. Things are looking better every day, yet more than 70% of the country thinks that nothing has changed and that the Republicans know best how to turn the economy around. Yes, Americans believe that the very people who caused this mess, the party that historically tanks the economy every fucking time they're in charge, will do better than the party that actually fixed it.

So certainly the Democratic message has failed to reach people. Factor in Fox News' 24-7 propaganda machine, as well as right-wing talk radio and a craven mainstream media, and it takes a gargantuan megaphone to counter that endless barrage of lies and misinformation. But it can be done and the message must be very simple, because we obviously live a pathetically stupid country. I suggest that Democrats in the future emulate Tarzan's grade-level of speech. Like this:

"We save economy. You get food. Not die. Republicans try kill you. Take job. We give you job. Give you big medicine. You friend. We help. We friend."

But this isn't why we lost.

2. Cowardice. Yes, watching Democrats distance themselves — no, make that run like scalded cats — from the President and his policies so they could hopefully gain the votes of ignorant fucking rednecks was cringe-inducing. Even worse, it didn't work because you're still dealing with ignorant fucking rednecks. Ever notice that people show up for Obama rallies? Like, in droves? And you punted on that? You're not just a coward, you're a fucking idiot. In a pink tutu.

So next time, remember that only trying to appeal to card-carrying members of the Sons of the Confederacy tends to alienate your base that isn't white, stupid and nearing extinction.

But this isn't why we lost.

3: Republican Dirty Tricks. Sure, the Republicans are lying, cheating, scum-sucking pigs. Everyone knows that. From voter-suppression laws to gerrymandering to patently false TV ads, there is no bottom to their barrel. They have no morals, no empathy, only an eternal, gnawing lust for power. And not for power to actually govern, just power.

But this isn't why we lost.

4. Voter Turnout. Midterm elections have notoriously bad voter turnout. This one was no exception, with two thirds of registered voters deciding they had better things to do than have a say in their own future. Millions of single women decided that the loss of the right to an abortion or even birth control wasn't worth the effort involved in actually voting. Millions of Blacks decided they could live with Jim Crow laws and more Fergusons. Millions of union workers who sat there with their thumbs up their asses decided that being plain old "workers" maybe wasn't so bad after all. Millions of young people who sat on the sidelines figured a drive to the school cafeteria was more hassle than $100,000 in student loan debt. Millions of Latinos who couldn't get motivated said adios to the Dream Act. Millions of gays who couldn't be bothered decided to trust that Republicans really just adore marriage equality. And millions of of people with first-time health coverage just couldn't get up off the couch to cast a ballot to keep it.

One could blame this appalling apathy on the above excuses: bad messaging, cowardly candidates and Republican dirty tricks. Or one could simply blame the hundreds of millions of lazy, stupid Americans, the vast majority of whom are directly benefiting from Democratic policies, who stayed home and let other people, people who want to destroy those policies, decide their future and the future of this nation.

I'll go with that.

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.